I have a busy afternoon at Carlisle with a full book of seven rides.
12:25 – 2m4f Novices’ Hurdle
The Con Man, who won an Irish Point on heavy ground in April, makes his rules appearance for the McCain yard.
He is a really nice horse and I am looking forward to the ride.
Garrettstown, with the benefit of a recent hurdles outing at Newbury, looks the main rival.
12:55 – 2m4f Mares’ Handicap Hurdle
Secret Escape, a dual bumper winner, was successful over hurdles for me at Cartmel.
She is ultra consistent and ran well on hurdling comeback 31 days ago when runner up at Sedgefield, beaten by a length.
The softer ground and cheekpieces will hopefully allow her to put in another big run and go close today.
Hidden Dilemma and Bon Chic are the dangers.
1:25 – 2m4f Mares’ Chase
Elusive Theatre, a chase winner in January travels over from the Stuart Crawford stable for this four runner listed contest.
She ran a pleasing race for me in a three mile hurdle at Ayr 29 days ago, finishing fourth of nine.
She is the outsider of the party but I hope she runs well.
Ron’s Dream is a tough mare and may shade it.
2:00 – 2m1f Handicap Hurdle
Wazowski, a hurdles winner, is a most consistent type with nine placed runs to his credit.
He is one pound lower than last time and will be helped by the softer ground.
He should have an each-way chance with main threats Iolani and Barrys Jack.
2:30 – 3m½f Handicap Chase
Mahler Lad, a winner of three chases, including one for me at Towcester in May when he battled back strongly when headed to get back up and beat Riddlestown.
He ran well on his return in late October when finishing second here to Sharp Response.
He is tough, honest, jumps well and has a very good chance despite carrying top weight.
Misfits won well last time and may be the main challenger even with the extra ten pounds.
3:00 – 3m½f Handicap Hurdle
Top Billing, a winner of five hurdles, has been somewhat out of sorts in recent years, yet showed signs of a return to form when third in a hurdle at Perth in May this year.
He is well handicapped and hopefully can recapture the old sparkle and get into contention.
The Davidson pair Justatenner and Chicoria look best of the rest.
3:30 – 2m4f Handicap Chase
Whitsundays, successful in four under rules, including last time at Kelso in January when I was in the saddle, returns after a 231 day break in the six runner handicap chase.
He goes well fresh and has a decent chance off a good mark.
Present Flight from last years winning yard could be the danger in a tricky affair.
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